Title: Five Things Carolyn Lam learned about Janet Fraiser after becoming SGC CMO
Spoilers: Heroes, Part 2, general for season 8/9
Summary: Five Things Carolyn Lam learned about Janet Fraiser after becoming SGC CMO
Author's Note: written for lj: sg1_five_things
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
1. Dr. Carolyn Lam had built her career on being a civilian in the military; the SGC certainly wasn't the first time she had taken over another doctor's infirmary. This was life on a military base – people were promoted or reassigned all the time. And yes, sometimes people died. Sadly, doctors were often invisible until they were needed. Doctor's weren't regular members of field teams; they didn't share in the battles, or the laughs. More often than not they served their time well until they moved on to their next posting. People rarely missed them when they were gone.
When Carolyn walked into the SGC that first day, nothing could have prepared her for the overwhelming shock of grief that had taken hold of the entire mountain. Every level, every room – every person – was filled with a sense of loss that she had been nowhere near expecting. Everyone was polite – kind and helpful – but still Carolyn couldn't escape the knowledge that she was the outsider here. Janet Fraiser hadn't been merely their doctor. She had been their friend. Their family. And every pair of eyes was grieving for her. She had not been invisible here, and it would be long, long, time before she was forgotten.
2. Carolyn's last posting had been at the Academy hospital where she had had a nice office all to herself, large enough for a desk, some shelves and even a lounge with a couple of cushions. Best of all, it had a window with a wonderful view of the park across the street. As far as offices went, it wasn't half bad.
After spending on entire week at the SGC, however, she was starting to develop a severe case of claustrophobia. How Dr. Fraiser had worked here for seven years she had no idea. Everything from the room's dimensions, to the paper-swamped desk was tiny, far too small for comfort. In fact, the only thing not small was the oversized filing cabinet crammed full of medical files – of which only one glimpse had confirmed she was walking into a world she knew nothing about.
It hadn't been until she sat down in her chair, her knees only barely squeezing under the top of her desk that it all made sense, and Carolyn learned just how short Janet Fraiser really had been.
Dr. Lam looked up to see a nurse standing in the infirmary door. Nurse Fitzgerald. Or Peters… Samson? She wasn't quite sure. "Yes, Nurse?"
"We – the nurses – we're going to O'Malley's for a drink, if you'd care to join us."
Carolyn smiled; things were warming up for her here at the SGC – now if only she actually had the time to reciprocate. Thanking the young woman, she declined and turned back to her work with a deep breath. If every night this week was anything to go by, she wasn't going to be heading home any time soon.
"How are you handling it?"
Carolyn jumped, turning to find the voice coming from the back of the room. Daniel had taken up residence in one of the beds several hours earlier with a nasty burn to the back of his shoulder. He had now made himself comfortable – with books and papers spread around him – with such ease that it had to be a regular occurrence.
He smiled at her knowingly, lifting a folder with his uninjured arm. "The work. Never going home. Knowing the truth."
She looked at him, searching his face and finding nothing but sincerity. "How did she do it?" She shrugged. "I mean the work just never ends. There's always someone injured or hurt – and on the off chance there's not, there's still reports to fill out. I just don't know how -"
"She was Janet," he said simply, as if that explained everything.
4. The pack was heavy on her back and she found herself leaning forward ever so slightly to stop from falling backwards. Of course, with Teal'c's large form taking up residence directly behind her, it wasn't as if she would have far to go. It wasn't her first trip through the gate, but it was certainly her first going into an otherworldly battle, and Teal'c had been assigned to accompany her relief mission.
Having been at the SGC long enough to find Teal'c's would-be-intimidating presence comforting, she merely looked up curiously when Teal'c's hand fell on her shoulder. "You appear ill-at-ease, Doctor Lam."
She shrugged. "Well, Teal'c, we're going to offer relief to aliens shooting at other aliens. Not exactly what I planned when I got up this morning."
He tilted his head towards her and started what she now recognised as a characteristic non sequitur. "Doctor Janet Fraiser fell in battle."
"Yes, I know."
"She answered a call for aide and suffered injury in the process. I have come to learn that your people do not think doctors will fall, that their profession will shield them from damage. Doctor Fraiser did not believe this. She knew the risk of undertaking such a mission and yet she followed her duty. She was brave, she was a warrior."
This was the most she had heard Teal'c talk – for all SG-1's injuries, their paths didn't cross often – and it was the first time she had heard Janet Fraiser described as such. And she knew he was right. She had been brave. She had been a warrior.
Teal'c squeezed her shoulder firmly, "You too, Doctor Lam, are a warrior."
5. By the time the third popcorn kernel flew across the room, hitting her in the back of the head, she could no longer pretend she wasn't aware of the chaos taking place in her infirmary. Spinning on her heel, she abandoned the tray of equipment she was sorting and stalked across the room to glare at her patient and her visitors. When she saw them, however, she stopped mid-step and felt her frustration melt away just a little. Sam Carter, wrapped up tight in bandages, was lying on the bed – still and bruised, but sporting a smile larger than Carolyn had ever seen from her. Of course, it was also the first time she had seen the scientist surrounded by all her entire family – and it was undeniably a family.
Vala was lying in the bed with Sam, her length carefully aligned with her friend as she applied a layer of polish to the fingers not splinted together. Cam had appropriated a stool from a lab somewhere and was stationed over her head, applying a bright, cartoon embellished bandaid to the hospital white bandage on her forehead. Teal'c was sitting cross-legged on the end of the bed – how, she did not know – gently rubbing his friend's feet. Daniel was leaning up against the wall, sorting through Sam's mail, carefully placing the science journals and catalogues in one pile and everything with a window in another. And Jack – the man Carolyn was having a hard time recognising as a General – was lounging in the chair at her side, one hand throwing popcorn up in the air to catch and the other resting gently against Sam's thigh.
She couldn't imagine how even one more person could fit around that bed, but they all seemed comfortable. She knew she should send them on their way, tell them that her patient needed rest, but somehow she knew they wouldn't stay away anyway. Jack looked up at where she was standing, frozen in indecision, and gave her a cheeky wink and grin. Shaking her head she turned and went back to work. She wasn't sure which, but Janet Fraiser must have been either crazy or impossibly patient to put up with this bunch as long as she did.